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Politics

Tonight had the feeling of a baseball game that endures a couple of rain delays and then goes into extra innings; the home team winds up winning, but nobody is there to see it.

Clinton probably won the night on media narrative, and the net effect of her larger-than-expected margin in Kentucky was to deny Obama the ability to put an exclamation point on the evening and declare a climactic finish to the primary campaign. Meanwhile, Obama’s larger-than-expected margin in Oregon denied Clinton her last opportunity to dramatically alter the balance of the status quo, which leads inexorably to an Obama nomination.

By my math, Obama will win about 41 pledged delegates in the remaining primaries, and 23 add-on super delegates at state conventions to be held over the next month. Even if Florida and Clinton were seated fully, Obama should be sitting on about 2,156 delegates a week or so into June, leaving him 53 short of the 2,209 he’d need to officially clinch the nomination. Between the undeclared superdelegates (excluding add-ons, but including Michigan and Florida) and the undeclared Edwards delegates, there are about 222 delegates that remain in play. Obama only needs 24 percent of those delegates to declare for him to clinch an absolute majority:

Current Pledged Delegates    1655.5
Current Superdelegates 304.5
FL/MI Pledged Delegates 122
FL/MI Superdelegates 10
------------------------------------
Current Total 2092
Projected Pledged Delegates 41
Projected Add-On Delegates 23
-----------------------------------
Projected June Total 2156

Needed to Win 2209
Magic Number 53
Delegates in Play* 222
Percent Needed to Clinch 24%

*Remaining superdelegates, excluding add-ons,
plus remaining Edwards delegates.

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